Thursday, February 27, 2014

Heracles' Labors: A Study in Regression or repression of the passive-altruistic?

1.    Slay the Nemean Lion.
2.    Slay the nine-headed Lernaen Hydra .
3.    Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
4.    Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
5.    Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
6.    Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
7.    Capture the Cretan Bull.
8.    Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
9.    Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
11. Steal the apples of the Hesperides (He had the help of Atlas to pick them after Hercules had slain Ladon).

12. Capture and bring back Cerberus.

I've already made a connection between the sphinx of Oedipus and the Chimera of Bellerophon to show the symbol of the lion as the Oedipal father imago symbol.

I've also tried to connect the polyphallic to the proto-phallic high ego ideal that hasn't been split to enter the phallic deutero. I've also drawn attention to the combined parent centaur and death by fire in Heracles as important symbols. I can't remember if I mentioned the snakes that came from the head of Medusa as Perseus was flying back from his marriage to Andromeda and what is probably the combined parent image of Phineus trying to marry Andromeda despite her hand being given to Perseus. 

So far, then, Heracles begins with the Oedipal lion and then returns to the polyphallic hydra. Turning to the hind or deer it has clear urethral tones as shown in the work of Thomas R. Hersh
The connection of deer with water is ubiquitous. It is assumed in Psalm 42:2 ("As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after thee"), and the Midrash on Psalm 22 reports that the hind is
...the most God-fearing of all animals, for her love for her young is very great. And so when the other animals are thirsty, all of them come to the hind, knowing that her deeds are God-fearing and that when she lifts her eyes to heaven, the Holy One, blessed be He, will show mercy to them also. And what does the hind do? She digs a hole, puts her horns into it, and pants; and the deep causes waters to come up for her sake, for it is said As the hart panteth after the water brooks [Braude 1959:309].
There is a parallel in the Pueblos where deer are universally bringers of water and rain (Tyler 1975:75, and see Hultkrantz 1979:51 for the Mundurucu of South America).
There is also the nearly universal idea of a Keeper of the Animals to whom one makes offerings to get deer. For the Cochiti, there is the kachina who "grows deer like corn" (Tyler 1975:72). For the Evenks of Siberia, there was the "mistress of the clan lands" who sent game animals. She was a giant cow elk or doe, and Jacobson sees her as the Animal Mother of tribe and animals (Jacobson 1993: 192ft). In the Claus Chee Sonny version of the Navajo Huntingway myth, "All livestock lives because of the deer. That is what keeps the animals moist, breathing, walking about, and altogether alive" (Luckert 1975:54).
(In the Deer as Riches section) at:
       The deer or hind with its two antlers has a connection to Hecate with her two torches. The water ties it to urine. The "mistress of the clan" and mothering of all the other animals also captures the description of the passive-altruistic urethral character I gave in a previous post as the mother of all. This along with the next stage's symbol, make me think that the regression may in fact be through the passive altruistic side of the personality. The boar or pig enters has been matched to the anal oedipal father imago. In an earlier post I've tied the 'upturned nose' to the feminine in the anal stage and, like the lion, it appears to be a symbol of physiognomy (i.e. people resemble pigs as they resemble lions, facially). However, it is very likely that having a big nose in general is related to the anal nuclear complex and there are many adages about great men in history having great noses.

      The next stage of cleaning the stables is obviously connected to the anal deutero and feces. Therefore the birds would be the volar trito as I've mentioned in a previous post about multiple objects in the air. The Bull would then correspond to the volar nuclear complex imago and I must stop here to do some more research on it.

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